Condit denies silencing mistress

by Alice Gomstyn | 7/27/01 5:00am

A high-ranking aide to Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., yesterday denied a report that he strongly cautioned a woman against disclosing an alleged affair between herself and the congressman to law enforcement officials.

The aide, administrative assistant Michael Dayton, told the woman to "leave [the affair] in the past or it will ruin you," according to USA Today.

Dayton called the allegation "absolutely not true."

Condit is one of approximately 100 people being questioned by police in the investigation into the disappearance of former Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy. Condit has reportedly admitted to police that he was having an affair with the 24-year-old graduate student, who was last seen on Apr. 30.

Condit's fellow Democrats in the House are hopeful that their patients' bill of rights will ultimately receive the approval of the chamber in a floor vote. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-GA, author of the Democrat-backed bill, met with President Bush yesterday in an attempt to hammer out some sort of compromise on patients' rights legislation.

Prior to yesterday's meeting, Bush had made statements explicitly in favor of another patients' rights bill -- one sponsored by Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R-KY, and supported by the majority of House Republicans.

While no formal resolution was reached during the meeting, Norwood told CNN that, "we're [House Democrats and the President] moving ... in the right direction."

The United States itself is moving in the wrong direction in regard to the environment, according to leading U.S. allies. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Cretien announced Saturday that his country, along with Japan, Russia and several European states were prepared to ratify the Kyoto Protocol -- an environmental agreement aimed at reducing global warming -- with or without U.S. support.

Bush has long opposed the Kyoto Protocol due to greenhouse gas emissions restrictions that he said would cripple the American economy. He will reportedly present a more U.S.-friendly alternative to the agreement this fall.